We drove up to Vancouver, BC this summer for the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival and some general exploration. The photo above is from exploring around Granville Island and the market there. Our Shakespeare tickets included a better than average salmon bake dinner as part of a special evening coinciding with an international fireworks competition. The production of Twelfth Night was set in an early 1900s European beachside resort which allowed for nuanced performances from the talented cast. Very well done. I will admit that we spent the first 20 minutes of the play shaking our heads and wondering where we had seen this play before…lame, we completely forgot that Twelfth Night was one of the plays we saw a few years ago at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. As much as I loved the town of Ashland, Oregon and that festival, Bard on the Beach exceeded my expectations and I will certainly not forget the play now!
It seems like much of Vancouver’s culture is heavily Asian. Which means good food cannot be far away! The Asian food we enjoyed all weekend long also exceeded expectations. I hate to say it but the sushi we found was better than much of the sushi we’ve come across in Seattle. Ajisai Sushi in Vancouver was so good it could bring tears to your eyes.
Sometimes I get skittish about trying new types of fish, but at Ajisai I don’t think you can go wrong. The octopus (tako) was phenomenal and one of those things that can easily make an inexperienced sushi eater wary of eating tako again if not done properly. They must massage the octopus at Ajisai for hours because it was perfectly tender! Ajisai also does pressed sushi or oshizushi which is pretty scarce around Seattle. Pressed sushi is exactly what it sounds like–the fish is pressed onto the rice in a wooden box to make it perfectly compact and dense. I’m not sure it adds much to elevate a diner’s sushi experience but I still think it’s tasty and has potential.
Vancouver’s dim sum experience also was a highlight. I haven’t done dim sum much but Kirin Seafood Restaurant was an elegant option. It’s fun not knowing what you’re going to get when you order something.
Last, we grabbed Japadogs before our drive home! Nom! Nom!